St Valentine's Day, Masnytsia, Presentation of Jesus at the Temple: Holidays and significant days of February

Source : 112 Ukraine

The shortest month of the year is coming. It brings new holidays and memorable dates
22:00, 31 January 2021

Valentine card
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February is the last month of winter. It is relatively short (only 28 days) but it can ‘boast’ of a few significant dates and holidays.

We will tell you about all of them but first, we will reveal the number of weekends in February.

How many weekends in February?

Only eight weekends. In other words, we would not have extra rest days this month. Only Saturday and Sundays: February 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28.

Now, we can focus on the most significant days.

Saint Valentine's Day

February 14

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The holiday of all lovers came to Ukraine from the U.S. and stroke root in our country. This holiday is celebrated as an extra reason for telling about feelings to a significant other.

Traditionally, this day, people present each other various delicacies in the form of a heart, flowers and little souvenirs. However, the unchanged attributes of the holiday are the valentines cards, red roses, doves and cupids.

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple

February 15

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The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple is one of the twelve Great Feasts that symbolizes the meeting of the mankind with God. According to people’s tradition, the holiday means the meeting of winter and spring.

The history of the holiday is the next:

According to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the Infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days (inclusive) after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son, in obedience to the Torah. Upon bringing Jesus into the temple, they encountered Simeon. The Gospel records that Simeon had been promised that 'he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ'.

When he swept up Jesus he claimed that this infant will become the Savior. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple is the landmark meeting of the Books of the Old and New Covenant and the acquaintance of the humanity with Messiah.

In pre-Christian times, our ancestors celebrated this day as the meeting of winter and spring. It was considered that February 15 is the only time during the whole winter when it is possible to hear thunder.

That is why, still, people in some villages sing pagan songs-spells for warm and good summer, light bonfires near the roads and tell fortunes.

This month, the church of the Eastern Orthodoxy starts the preparation for the Great Lent.

Day of Heavenly Hundred Heroes

February 20

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The Day of Heavenly Hundred Heroes was established by the order of fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko ‘to immortalize great human, civilian and national bravery and dedication, the strength of spirit and firmness of the citizens, thanks to whom the march of history of our state was changed, worthy of the celebration of feat of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes who laid down their lives during the Revolution of Dignity (November 2013 - February 2014), defending the ideals of democracy, rights and freedoms of a human, the European future of Ukraine’.


February 20-26

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From February 20 until February 26, the Ukrainians will celebrate Masnytsia or Kolodiy – the traditional Slavic holiday that symbolizes the farewell of winter and the greeting of spring.

The whole holiday week has two periods: the first one is called the narrow Masnytsia that includes Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and the broad Masnytsia that includes Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Earlier, it was considered that during the narrow Masnytsia it is allowed to hold general labor activities; while from Thursday all works stop.

Besides merriment and celebrations, it is used to cook pampushka, buns and syrnyky. However, the main dish of Masnytsia is mlyntsi (pancakes) that symbolizes sun and new life. Mlyntsi might be different: unleavened, sweet, with filling, raised and others. The fried eggs should be present at the festive table on the last day of Masnytsia.

Other holidays

February 4 – World Cancer Day 

February 15 – the Commemoration Day of Combatants in the territory of other countries

February 21 – International Mother Language Day


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